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What would you do to save the world?

March 19, 2009

This post certainly isn’t about Ira Trivedi’s novel of the same name. Yet, it has some striking resemblance to what defines us. One of most often asked questions in beauty pageants is “What’s your aim in life?” (Definitely not in the same format…but every question has its roots aimed at this one!). And guess what? Some of them do know what’s their aim in life. Some of them do know how to save the planet. Leaving certain genuine replies which are a consequence of life long commitment, most of the replies are so fake! Few of them are so well rehearsed that ultimately it would look like their sole aim is not to goof up with their perfectly scripted replies.

Act 1:

I think I was 9 years old, when I realised that we have dreams and that sparked enthusiasm to know what people do around us. Since in India, everything is measured in terms of fortune, money, gold our future ambitions and dreams are more or less moulded towards the money making ventures. Ask any kid on the block, you have a very rare chance of coming across someone who wants to be an artist, a painter or a writer. Kids often  look upto their elders for everything. These elders end up being the Godfathers/Godmothers, mentors and role models to the kids around. And so convoluted is our vision of future and life in general that, hardly people have an answer for the simple question, “Why do you do this?”. Most of the times, this question which could be interpreted in several ways is brushed aside as lame or silly. They would tell you, “Because I love it. I was born for this.” Nothing much than this.

Having spent 10 years (I am just 23 now!..:P) trying to find an answer to that question, I have learnt one thing. “Never do it, because someone else is doing it.” Let me tell you what happens if you do what others do…
1. You wanted to be an archaeologist because you found Egyptian and Roman civilization fascinating. But then you are sternly advised, there’s no future to it.
2. You wanted to be a doctor and try to find a cure for brain fever because one of your best friends happened to succumb to that. But they will say, you good at math, so do a degree in engineering.
3. You wanted to go to hospitality and tourism industry, because you love to interact people and tell them what makes your country special. But they will say, are you crazy?!

Act 2:
At the age of 16…

1. The herd moves east and you HAVE to move east. Otherwise there’s something wrong with you.
2. You slog 18 hours a day to get your ass to one of the coveted colleges in the country. And if you can’t make it the first time, repeat this step on and on and on…
3. You realise you have no life and at the end of the day, all there is to be done is wait for the Sun to rise again.
4. You slowly start becoming a machine. Programs are fed into you. Dreams are created. Life does change.
5. You are taught to compete and hardly ever to succeed.
6. You begin to feel the pain of useless baggage and tons of expectations.
7. Atlast, if all yours stars shine, you indeed become the cynosure of all eyes. If not, repeat Act 2.

Act 3:
Something happens here. The wise begin to think. Others carry on with life. Either ways, everyone is happy.
1. You max all your exams. Some outperform you, other don’t. Sweet!
2. You read new literature, watch movies (the good ones!) and are introduced to Theatre. Others don’t give a damn.
3. You wonder, if life could be different and jump out of the circle. Lonely and introspective, you begin to lose the race…you have fallen out of place.
4. You start dreaming about Ayn Rand, James Joyce, Gogol and others. You believe you could be next Hitchcock, Tarantino, Spielberg.

Something happens here. You see the life differently. And wonder why it shouldn’t be different. You begin to question. You begin to listen. You begin to understand. You begin to Live.

Standing outside those gates of Paradise, you begin to wonder,
Oh, God! What have you turned me into?”
God doesn’t reply. He/She is human too, who haven’t found certain answers.:P

Apparently He/She did, that’s why some people know exactly what they need to do to save the world. I wish I could change few things. I wish I found an answer. I wish I saw life in a different way and made others understand why I think so. But that never happens. Never.

If there’s one thing I have learnt in the past 10 years, then it’s this simple principle, which I think I perhaps came across in a movie.
If you can’t change the world, change your world.

The question is, do I have the power to do that? We are so entangled in a myriad of dreams and responsibilities, that the whole point of living for yourself is blasphemy. You are an entity, which solves a puzzle. Not yours, but of others lives.

Act 4:

It’s filled with curiosity, anxiety, hope, despair. And I am yet to travel that road. Perhaps then, I will find an answer. I will find my niche. I will know a way to save the world.

Right now, my idea of saving the world is through following your dreams. Then there would be no such thing as a tormented soul. Irony is, I don’t think I fall into that category. (Duh!!! That’s why I said, “my idea”!..:P)

Till Then,
Here am I, dreaming, thinking, Living….

P.S: There are some wonderful people around us who have done great things in life and continue to inspire us and for that I will always be grateful of them.
P.P.S: This post is for all those, who question their deeds, who seek answers…but haven’t found yet.

Picture Courtesy: Atlas-RPC Bologna

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2009 9:35 am

    the picture bears a resemblance to Ayn Rand’s ATLAS SHRUGGED.My interpretation would be to bear the burden of the world at every stage (or as u age).One interesting way to look at it we haven’t tried to pick the world up from the bottom but it is like the world has appeared from a hammerspace and we are trying to balance it.I guess even with age (from where levels of maturity and the knowledge of the places to invest ignorance) is just like this.And who knows our Thoughts,Dreams and Life would stumble upon something that would stabilise every notion of the word ‘World’.

    • Hemanth permalink*
      March 19, 2009 10:42 am

      @Rajeev: Bear the burden of world at every stage?? You believe in the philosophy that, everything happens for a reason??..:)

      Yes, lets hope we realise something before doomsday…:P

      • March 19, 2009 10:56 am

        bear the burden at every stage => face what comes 🙂 and no i strictly DO NOT believe in everything happens for a reason..

  2. Hemanth permalink*
    March 19, 2009 11:10 am

    @Rajeev: Point noted..:)

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